By Mable Nakibuuka
The case involving the grabbing of Simbamanyo House and Pearl Afrique Suites has taken a different twist after it emerged that Equity Bank and Sudhir Ruparelia of Meera Investments Limited, allegedly connived to grab the property after the bank purportedly auctioned the same to Sudhir.
The scandal started last year after Equity Bank illegally attached and purportedly auctioned Simbamanyo House and Pearl Afrique Suites to MEERA Investments Limited and Luwaluwa Investments Ltd respectively, claiming that the proprietor, city architect Peter Kamya had failed to service a loan of USD10M that he had acquired from Equity Bank Uganda and Equity Bank Kenya.
However, investigators in the matter have since unearthed shocking information indicating that whereas Sudhir’s henchman Ronald Luwangula of Luwaluwa Investments Ltd claims to have bought Pearl Afrique Suites, he actually did not buy the property but was just used as a front by his boss (Sudhir).
New evidence indicates that it was Sudhir who instead hatched a plot with crafty officials of Equity bank and their lawyers to devise the machinations of grabbing the property.
Sudhir – Equity Bank Connivance Exposed
It should be noted that investigations so far indicate that Luwangula and his Luwaluwa Investments Ltd are not worth USD1M, both in assets and revenue. This is because the business portfolio of Luwaluwa Investments doesn’t portray it as a company with a capital base to the tune of USD1M and the company, which is limited by shares, is owned between Luwangula, his wife and their three children.
Evidence on ground from the Registrar of Companies indicates that Luwaluwa Investments Ltd share capital stands at Shs4m and that it is a small-time second-hand car dealership based in Nyanama, a Kampala suburb, which has no capacity to purchase a property worth billions of shillings.
So, on realising that his henchman did not have the money required to purchase Pearl Afrique Suites from Equity Bank, Sudhir offered the Bank a Performance Based Guarantee, indicating that he, under Meera Investments had real estate interest in the property.
Documents seen by this website indicate that prior to the purported auctioning of the property in October 2020, Meera Investments Ltd had entered into an agreement with Equity Bank Uganda whereby they were to execute a Performance Based Guarantee, under which they would deposit USD1M with the bank for purposes of purchasing.
The Performance Based Guarantee was signed on or around September 20th, 2020, between Equity Bank represented its lawyers of Walusimbi & Co. Advocates and Meera Investments Ltd who were represented by the lawyers of Katende, Ssempebwa and Co. Advocates and the money was deposited on Sudhir’s lawyers’ dollar account number 1036200727349 in Equity Bank.
According to the Performance Based Guarantee, both parties (Sudhir and Equity Bank) agreed that if the money was not used for the intended purpose (purchasing real estate property) then the bank would refund Meera Investments the same amount with interest and compensation for inconveniencing them, to the tune of USD6m, but that the demand for refund was to be done only after 15 October.
But it should be noted that Simbamanyo House and Pearl Afrique Suites were purportedly bought by Sudhir and Luwaluwa on October 8th, 2020, 18 days after execution of the Performance Based Guarantee.
What has left the eyebrows of investigators raised is why Equity Bank had to compel Sudhir to execute a Performance Based Guarantee of USD1M if Luwalula had the capacity to buy the Pearl Afrique Suites and if he indeed bought it like they claim.
Worse still is that investigators also suspect that Sudhir could have used this same Performance Based Guarantee to grab Simbamanyo House, claiming to have purportedly bought the property at USD5M after it was auctioned by Equity Bank, yet the same bank failed to adduce in court documents pertaining to the purported auction, which are supposed to indicate how much the property was sold and to whom.
All this came to light after Equity Bank lawyers and officials failed to produce documents in court evidencing the purported sale, the actual amount that he paid, who received it and when, yet Suhdir and his cronies have since grabbed the property and evicted all the tenants from both Simbamanyo House and Pearl Afrique Suites.
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